Pepper Coast

Pepper Coast known as the Grain Coast, was the name given by European traders to a coastal area of western Africa, between Cape Mesurado and Cape Palmas. It encloses the present republic of Liberia; the Pepper Coast got its name from the availability in the region of the melegueta pepper known as the "grain of paradise", which in turn gave rise to an alternative name, the Grain Coast. The importance of the spice is shown by the designation of the area from the Saint John River to Harper in Liberia as the "Grain Coast", in reference to the availability of grains of paradise. In some cases, this term covers a wider area incorporating the Ivory Coast. Slave Coast of West Africa Gold Coast Guinea

Marie-Thérèse Bourgeois Chouteau

Marie-Thérèse Bourgeois Chouteau was the matriarch of the Chouteau fur trading family which established communities throughout the Midwest. She is considered the "Mother" of St. Louis, was influential in its founding and development, in essence, helping lead to its becoming an important American town and the Gateway to the West, she was born in New Orleans on January 13, 1733. She had Spanish mother. Shortly after she turned six years old, her father died, leaving her mother, her two siblings, herself; the following year, Marie-Therèse's mother remarried to a man named Nicholas Pierre Carco. She lived with her mother and stepfather until her marriage, it is thought that she returned to their household when her marriage fell apart four years later. At the age of 15, Marie-Therèse married tavern keeper and baker René Auguste Chouteau, Sr. on September 20, 1748. This arrangement was made by her family, with everyone expecting that the marriage would be successful. According to accepted histories, René deserted her after she gave birth to René Auguste Chouteau, Jr. in 1749.

Upon being deserted by René, Marie-Therèse referred to herself as a widow as it gave her more legal and social rights. As a widow, she could have custody over her children, she began a relationship with Pierre Laclède around 1755. With him, she had four children: Jean Pierre Chouteau in 1758, Marie Pelagie, Marie Louise, Victoire. After Laclède established St. Louis, Missouri in 1764, Marie-Therese traveled with her other four children to the new, developing colony. At first, she lived with all the other settlers at the trading post. However, Laclède is said to have built her a house in 1767. During this time, she kept busy, owning cattle, keeping bees, conducting business. A few years the elder René Chouteau demanded that authorities return her to New Orleans. In 1774 Louisiana Governor Luis de Unzaga ordered her to return; however she did not and the order was ignored until the elder Chouteau died in 1776. Though this freed her from her marriage and allowed her to marry Laclède, Marie-Therese refrained from doing so.

At this time, Laclède had fallen into a lot of debt, though she loved him, she did not want to be responsible for paying off his creditors after his death, an event that happened soon after. Laclède died in 1778. Afterwards, Marie-Therèse remained in the stone house Laclède built for her. From until her death, she continued to be an influential, successful figure in the St. Louis colony. In addition, she helped her sons with controlling the fur trade, her daughters as well were successful in their own right. Upon the death of Madame Chouteau on August 14, 1814, she was buried on the grounds of the Basilica of St. Louis, King of France. However, when bodies were dug up in 1849 to move them to Calvary Cemetery and Bellefontaine Cemetery during a cholera epidemic, her remains could not be found. All contemporary histories of St. Louis attribute a founding role to her including The First Chouteaus: RIVER BARONS OF EARLY ST. LOUIS by William E Foley and C David Rice ISBN 0-252-06897-1 and Before Lewis and Clark: The Story of the Chouteaus, the French Dynasty That Ruled America's Frontier by Shirley Christian ISBN 0-374-52958-2.

However, there have been challenges including challenges by her descendants. Part of the challenge were considered efforts to show that she did not have a relationship outside of marriage. Other challenges were based on formal records. Records at the St. Louis Cathedral indicate that all the Chouteau children were baptized there and indicated the elder Chouteau was the father. Further records indicate that Laclède did not leave his inheritance to the Chouteaus while the elder Chouteau did; the legend says that Laclède and Marie had a common law marriage and that Laclède signed away part of his property to them to protect them and maintain the appearance that Marie was in a proper civil law relationship with the elder Chouteau. However, one 1790s account, published in translation, by a French officer serving the Spaniards, Nicolas de Finiels, notes no founding role for Chouteau and goes as far as to say there was a hamlet at the site of St. Louis before the founding of St. Louis; the tale of Chouteau's role in the founding of St. Louis does not appear in the historical introduction of the first St. Louis city directory in 1820, his name was not mentioned at all at the first celebration of the town's past in 1847.

A New Orleans militia census conducted after Laclede had departed New Orleans shows him still at home with his mother and brothers. The earliest St. Louis historian, Wilson Primm, dismissed the story. Auguste's role in the founding is based on his own testimony in a land dispute in the 1820s, on an unsigned manuscript "Journal" attributed to him, announced found by his sole surviving son, Gabriel, in 1857. "Marie Therese Bourgeois Chouteau". AAUW Columbia Branch. AAUW. Retrieved March 21, 2016

SS San Joaquin

San Joaquin was a steam tanker built in 1913 by the Sir James Laing & Sons Ltd of Sunderland. She was the first of several tankers ordered by Wilhelm Wilhelmsen for their oil-carrying operations in the Pacific. In 1911 an English firm Fearnley & Eger and Wilhelm Wilhelmsen established the "Norwegian Africa and Australia Line". At about the same time the two companies took over the "Norway Mexico Gulf Line" involved in oil and oil products transportation to South America. In 1913 the company ordered their first tanker to serve the California-South America route for NOK 1,862,527.25. The ship was laid down in 1913 at Sir James Laing & Sons Ltd. shipyard at Deptford, launched on November 14, 1913, commissioned on December 20 of the same year. As built, the ship was 435 feet 5 inches long and 57 feet 1 inch abeam, a mean draft of 33 feet 1 inch. San Joaquin was assessed at 6,987 GRT, 4,421 NRT and 10,360 DWT; the vessel had a steel hull, a single 555 nhp triple-expansion steam engine, with cylinders of 27-inch, 45-inch, 74-inch diameter with a 54-inch stroke, that drove a single screw propeller, moved the ship at up to 10.5 knots.

San Joaquin was delivered to Wilhelm Wilhemsen on December 20, 1913. Upon delivery, she was chartered by the Union Oil Company for 10 years and sailed to San Francisco. San Joaquin left Newcastle-upon-Tyne on Christmas Day 1913 and on February 27, 1914 arrived on the US West Coast; the ship left San Francisco on March 8 for Chilean ports of Iquique and Antofagasta, stopping off to load oil at Port San Luis, the major oil storage and shipping facility for Union Oil. San Joaquin arrived in Antofagasta on March 29, departed two days for Iquique, before returning to San Francisco in mid April. For the remainder of 1914 and through 1918 San Joaquin continued transporting oil from Port San Luis in California to Chilean ports of Taltal, Iquique and Tocopilla, with occasional trips to and from Mexico, or up the West Coast of the US. In 1919 San Joaquin was moved to the Gulf of Mexico, as Union Oil sought to fulfill its South American contracts by buying oil from Mexico; the tanker made regular trips from Tampico and Tuxpan on the Gulf Coast of Mexico to the same Chilean ports through early 1922.

In April 1922 she returned to the West Coast, delivered oil to Victoria on May 25, 1922, before resuming her South American routes. By mid-1920s Wilhelm Wilhelmsen started to pull out of oil-carrying business, concentrating instead on oceanic liners; as a result, the company started disposing of its tanker fleet. San Joaquin was acquired in June 1929 by a Norwegian whaling company A/S Hektor and renamed Melville. Hektor operated a whaling station on Deception Island and Melville served as a transportation ship for the company. Melville transported members and aircraft of Sir George Hubert Wilkins's expedition in late 1929 on their way to the South Shetland Islands. Hektor invested a lot of resources in their whaling business in 1930, overproduction and a financial crisis led to a collapse of the market, the entire Norwegian and part of the foreign whaling fleet had to be laid up in the 1931/32 season; as the company’s financial position weakened, Hektor had to negotiate with their creditors to obtain a deferral which after prolonged negotiations was obtained in 1936.

However, as a result, the company had to sell most of its ships, including Melville, bought in 1935 by a Greek Hellenic Tramp S. S. Co. who renamed the ship Iolcos. Following the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War, Greece declared neutrality. However, Metaxas saw the war as a great opportunity of making money and rearming Greek Armed Forces by selling ammunition and weapons to both parties of the conflict. Nationalists were furious with the Greeks selling weapons to Republicans, submitted a dossier to Greek ambassador in Burgos proving Greek government was complicit in selling arms to the Republicans; as a result, most Greek ships travelling in the Western Mediterranean were considered by Spanish Nationalists, as well as their German and Italian allies, as enemies. On September 1, 1937 Iolcos, just renamed Woodford and in the process of being transferred to the British registry, was on her journey from Constanta to Valencia with a full load of fuel oil; the tanker just made a call in Barcelona on August 27 but was unable to unload her cargo, was travelling along the east coast of Spain.

The ship was under command of captain Gregorij Dimitrov, a Bulgarian, had a crew of 32 composed of Greeks and Hungarians. Around 06:30 in the morning, Italian submarine Diaspro sighted the tanker near Benicarló heading to Alicante. Not being able to catch up with the ship under water, Diaspro attacked the ship on the surface by launching two torpedoes; the ship crew spotted them, managed to maneuver and avoid them altogether, made an attempt to ram the submarine. Diaspro fired two more torpedoes which hit the ship on the starboard side, around holds 5 and 8, sank it in the position 40°09′N 00°46′E. Though the ship was travelling under the British flag, the captain of the submarine, Giuseppe Mellina, believed the tanker was using a false name Woodford, as the crew appeared to be Romanian; as a result of the attack, the ship's second engineer died and six people were wounded. The rest of the tanker's crew reached the Spanish coast. Giorgerini, Giorgio. Uomini sul fondo. Storia del sommergibilismo italiano dalle origini ad oggi.

Mondadori. ISBN 8804505370. Headland, Robert. Chronological List of Antarctic Expeditions and Related Historical Events (Studie